HELLYEAH – UNDEN!ABLE (2016)
Release Date: 3 June 2016
℗ 2016 Eleven Seven Music
- Scratch A Lie
- Be Undeniable
- Leap of Faith
- Blood Plague
- I Don’t Care Anymore
- Live Or Die
- Love Falls
Ostensibly the latest release from Hellyeah appears a deviation from their previous releases, most particularly Blood For Blood, but in actuality, I believe this album to be an unprecedented and unquestionable success in musical exploration. Fast, heavy, diverse and powerful are the phrases I find myself considering as appropriate to describe this collection of exciting new works from Hellyeah.
When you listen to the album and consider the vast experience and skill of each protagonist, the realisation hits that this is a dynamic group who will never be stagnant. Never be less than they demand of themselves and each other. I am supremely confident that this work has been driven by their worldwide touring met with nothing short of adoration and a veritable worship from audiences the world over. Perhaps therein lies a desire to reward the legions of loyal followers with something next level. If that be so, Hellyeah have nailed it in spades.
The aptly titled ! introduces the more malevolent Hellyeah brilliantly, albeit briefly, spiralling the listener into an alternate world and preparing us to perfection for the aural onslaught to ensue.
X opens with a an instrumental feel of vengeful venom spitting ferocity and is utterly invigorating in instrumental diversity. My initial feeling was one of immediate excitement to see the band live again performing this track with Vinnie punishing the kit, Tom spitting lick after riff at the crowd accompanied by the raw skill of Christian, none other than Kyle Sanders belting at the bass all blended with ferocious anger and Chad mixing the bent over, belly screaming vocal delivery with the quieter lyrics conveyed by that stare right into your soul. Damn, one track and I’m spent. But there is no retreat. The assault continues with the brilliantly varied Scratch A Lie. Speed and ferocity with gut-wrenching vocal viciousness. Jesus Chad, take a breath man. Damn powerful stuff.
The title track is the band’s current status to a tee. An Unden!able powerhouse of talent taking their music to new heights of technical brilliance and monstrous appeal. And all this from a group who were already astonishing. Almost a rap feel and every ounce as catchy. From the vocals to the plethora of hooks. Just remarkable. The energy is something that must be heard to be believed.
Human is a brilliantly constructed and executed bridge back to Sangre Por Sangre ensuring there is plenty of mid-album reference to take all Hellyeah lovers along for the progression. Sensational. That typical and astonishingly emotive delivery from each member that reaches into the darkened recesses of your very soul, churning things up a little. A skill so profoundly owned by Chad with his vocal capacity, but you will still feel that emotional camaraderie, and are left post purging with the sense of vindication.
Leap Of Faith slows the pace a little and is sequenced perfectly as we revisit the tried and tested sound of Hellyeah, and have reinforced to us why we love this band and their music so very much. The instrumental and solos at around 2.30 will have you gasping for breath before Chad propels us soaring skyward again with his bewildering work. My absolute favourite from this collection of incredible tracks, but I’m certain that favour will alter with each day’s encounters. The guitar work is utterly amazing, but the entire group band together and get right into your chest the very way only Hellyeah can. I think all will be forgiven if you find solace in your solitude by spitting the lyrics at your stereo speakers, with tears running down your face Hush style. So powerful.
Blood Plague will have the malicious moshing back to the fore, accompanied by the Hellyeah speed and precision at new heights of sheer brilliance and cutting edge innovation. I hear so much that is familiar, but in saying that I have never a track like this before, with so many dimensions, twists, turns, ebb and flow. This one will be played to death in my quiet time.
Then the unbelievable STARTARIOT has us quickly rising to any available source of outrage at hand, to take to the streets and scream ‘fuck peace’ bringing forth an armageddon. And damn it, if there, in fact be an end of days on its way forth with ill-deserved confidence, this will be the soundtrack to our unified revolution. The delivery of this track has me reminiscing, quite oddly I admit, of Dylan Thomas and his work Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night.
Love Falls is truly astonishing in it’s homogenization of styles, like it was written by Tangerine Dream consulting with Bob Mould, sprinkled with a blended seasoning of 80’s pop and soft rock, then grilled until it is all transformed into Hellyeah’s own unique soaring magnificence. Amazingly it finished a true Hellyeah classic. Astounding.
The remaining tracks I leave to the listener to enjoy, in sequence as intended by Hellyeah, because there is a brilliance therein I am struggling to accurately describe with mere words. The music and the emotions elicited, coupled with their power, speak volumes for themselves. Instead, I would simply, and humbly provide a summation of this collection as best I can. I am mouth agape in bewildered awe at how such a sensationally skilled outfit can take their already magnificent sound and bless it with a fresh, ferocious, diverse and innovative appeal. Rare and undeniably brilliant an achievement as this is, you will find it herein. A true multidimensional masterpiece.